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Probate query

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Hi folks,

my mother died in September and I'm executor of her will.

 

I've arranged for for an estate agent to view her vacant property in order to prepare a probate report.

I'm also getting two property valuations so that the house can be put on the market after probate is granted.

I'm going to apply for probate myself and I don't anticipate that inheritance tax will be due because once sold there's a large equity release payment outstanding.

 

my question is does anyone know the difference between a standard probate report and an enhanced one?

There is a fee of £250 for the standard and £350 for the enhanced.

 

I was told the latter was 'to cover inheritance tax', but when I asked the estate agent's rep to explain the enhanced type in more detail, she advised me to consult a solicitor.

 

I don't want a hefty bill for simple advice but wondered if I should have gone for the more detailed report, so if anyone can help I'd be very grateful.

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Hello. I'm very sorry to hear about your mother.

 

 

I think you're doing the right thing sorting out probate yourself. I did probate for my mother's estate, it just meant being organised.

 

 

Other people will have different views but I just got three normal valuations with a view to selling the house once probate was granted. They didn't cost anything.

 

 

I can see that with some assets a probate valuation could be lower, but if you're going to be under the IHT limit, then maybe it's not worth paying a fee.

 

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Thanks, I'll give them a ring tomorrow. It really is like wading through treacle with these matters sometimes. :???:

 

Just to add, I'm now reading the probate guide, it's very helpful so thank you so much.

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When I got probate when I was executor for my mother and an uncle I didn't pay a penny for a valuation. Just got a local Estate Agent round to say I would be selling, what should I put it on market for, and got them to confirm in writing. "Standard" and "Enhanced" reports means nothing. They aren't a generally accepted industry term that means anything, just something the agent you spoke to has invented to take your money!

 

In practice it all depends what the Estate value will be. If the net value of the whole Estate (ie after the money owing for equity release) will be £250k or less then HMRC won't usually ask for detailed professional valuations providing the Gross property value you put on the IHT return is more or less in line with what HMRC's database of local property values. Have a lok at the IHT form guidance notes. The closer the Estate value is to IHT threshold (or if it's over it) the more likely it is HMRC will expect say 3 valuations. Or if the gross value you state (before equity release repayment) is out of line with local sale process. And assuming the equity release money wasn't ued to make lifetime gifts that HMRC add back into estate value for IHT.

 

 

I got Probate valuations for my mother's jewellery. About 20% of the Insurance replacement values done at same time by same jeweller!

 

I've done Executor 3 times myself without using a solicitor. If Estate is straightforward and you've time to read up on it all there's no need to use a solicitor.

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When I got probate when I was executor for my mother and an uncle I didn't pay a penny for a valuation. Just got a local Estate Agent round to say I would be selling, what should I put it on market for, and got them to confirm in writing.

[...]

I got Probate valuations for my mother's jewellery. About 20% of the Insurance replacement values done at same time by same jeweller!

 

Most of the time, estate agent "valuations" are more of a "what we would advertise for", which could be quite a bit different to the sale price. As an example, a property a few doors away was on the market with an asking price of £250K, it eventually sold after nearly a year for £215K. When I went through the probate process a couple of years ago, I didn't even bother asking an estate agent. Instead, I looked at what similar properties had sold for in the area over the previous twelve months and made a downward adjustment to reflect condition.

 

As for jewellery, that was expertly appraised as some of it had a very high insurance valuation. Even after taking in to consideration the age of some of the pieces, probate value was based on scrap value of the gold & platinum plus a bit for the stones. Some £20K of jewellery ended up having a probate value of less than £800.

 

Dealing with the death of a close family member can be very distressful. and for some people, difficult to come to terms with. Going through the probate forms can increase the feeling of loss. If the total value of the estate is likely to be less than £325K, there is absolutely no rush to get the forms completed. even if inheritance tax is likely to be due, you have six months from the date of death to get the forms submitted.


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This link may be of interest - Wills, probate and inheritance: https://www.gov.uk/wills-probate-inheritance


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To add to what I said, it came back to e just now that we started marketing mother's house in anticipation of getting probate and the agent was happy to do that. By the time I needed to submit the forms we'd had an offer so I used that figure.

 

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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If the total value of the estate is likely to be less than £325K, there is absolutely no rush to get the forms completed. even if inheritance tax is likely to be due, you have six months from the date of death to get the forms submitted.

 

Yes, although bear in mind that until you complete the IHT form you can't get Probate.

 

Re house valuations, I've just had to come up with a valuation for one for a Land Registry purpose (not probate this time) and my solicitor was happy to use the Zoopla values. In my experience if informal valuations show that a house is clearly well below a threshold or in the middle of a band of values then official bodies like HMRC and Land Registry aren't usually bothered. The closer the value is to crossing a threshold or valuation boundary the more closely they look at it and start asking for 3 professional valuations etc.

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